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Japanese Progressive Rock presented by DamoX

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2017 at 05:29


It’s good sometimes I enjoy authentic jazz rock / fusion. Recently KBB’s newest one “Age Of Pain” is one of my loves.


Age Of Pain (2013) - KBB


Four technical veteran artists play “cool" music under the green sky. Very tasty pop essence can be found via such a complicated, tough melody lines and rhythm structure. I guess Akihisa TSUBOY could be called as a front flower of KBB, but surely the four musicians and four or more instruments should create this incredible soundgarden under the green sky. Akihisa’s violin play is vivid, sometimes heartwarming, sometimes cold as ice, through his precise violin bow and all fingers. Toshimitsu’s keyboard sounds like beautiful, fragile crystal or brilliant diamond stones. But yes, the two heroes cannot work fantastically without the strict, powerful rhythm section by Shiro and Dani. All tracks (with various appearances) are rigid and artistic through the four splendid personalities, we might mention here.


A Fantasia - the impression of their melody section is too magnificent for the audience to avoid such a crystallized catchy line. and Shiro’s bass heaviness and Dani’s drumming footsteps are clear and refined, which shall be appropriate for supporting the beautiful melody one. There are plenty of sound appearances in this album - some are light and delightful, some are heavy and dark, and some are quiet and gentle - all ones can be dealt perfectly by them. Pity I’ve not attend their concert or gig yet but their superb stage can be imagined easily.  Let me say as my humble opinion, they might have created, produced multi-dimensional melody lines based upon complicated rhythm structures obviously tinged with pop, catchy moments and vibes. Elements we can hear in the "so-called-prog” world would be limited, and they shoot another new prog-scape blended with decent phrases here and there.


Anyway this album has been recommended for me by my progressive rock friend Fred LESSING (the frontman of DAYMOON). Thanks to Fred for letting me know such a music gem.



Thank you for reading this blog.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2017 at 05:30
Originally posted by Tapfret Tapfret wrote:

Hey Keishiro!

I was looking up the band Hikashu earlier because the one very enthusiastic review they received when I came across this.
...
Are you familiar with P-Model? This particular album sounds like Cardiacs to me, very avant. The later material sounds very straight electronica. 

Curious for your input.
^ P-Model is one of Japanese rock vanguards really. Not so familiar with them (recently cannot find their stuff easily even in Japan) but imho I should research them indeed.


Thanks for your recommendation and heads up. Big smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 12 2017 at 18:35
^I mostly see them labeled "Post-punk" and "New Wave". But the guitar work very much reminds my of the first 2 Virus albums from Norway. Quite a RIO feel to it.

And yes, as you say very difficult to find their early (and best) albums. I even went outside of US import sites and used copies are $50+. I guess I will just listen on youtube for now.
There is no act more pretentious and self-indulgent than labeling another's art as pretentious and self-indulgent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2017 at 10:22
Sometimes I should post about Japanese Neo / Symph scene haha. Embarrassed

Another fantastic Japanese Neo-Prog outfit have been recommended by my prog friend David (yam yam). Thanks David! Big smile

ROMANZA (not ROMANZA-BEKKAN sorry)
Quote Ikko NAKAJIMA, the frontman / guitarist of a Japanese Symphonic Prog gem PAGEANT, obviously influenced by Genesis, has worked out a detailed plan for founding an offshoot for reproducing PAGEANT faithfully in late 1990s. In 1999 he finally founded ROMANZA as another incarnation of Japanese Symph / Neo-Prog, but sadly this combo went into hibernation owing to the female vocalist stepping down two years later. Ikko invited another female vocalist HINA and founded another (short-lived) offshoot ROMANZA-BEKKAN and released an album A Grand Romance In Far East (Toho Dai-Romance) in 2005.

In 2013 “original” ROMANZA became active again and have gigged vigorously around Japan (no official album yet except some unofficial live albums).
A Grand Romance In Far East (2005) - ROMANZA-BEKKAN

In general Japanese Neo-Prog combos are highly qualified and lowly originated, let me say. Recently there are so many good players and their recording condition (mixing, mastering, directing) is basically not bad, but I cannot feel huge addiction nor impression via their good material, regardless of "so-called" originality they claim. Yes their "originality" is not real originality ... melody lines, rhythmic basis, or soundscape via their material might be almost like I've heard somewhere previously. Hmm something is different about that.

Anyway, this album "The Grand Romance In Far East" would be in another dimension methinks. ROMANZA-BEKKAN founded by Ikko NAKAJIMA is one of offshoots of a Japanese Neo / Symphonic Progressive combo PAGEANT, and Ikko says "clearly" their playing style would like to lean toward GENESIS. Sharp-edged passionate guitar fulminant and gorgeously brilliant keyboard stream have obviously got influenced by the progressive rock vanguard, and it's comfort they understand what they want to do. Qualified play is of course awesome and dramatic theatrical melody lines and lyrics completely ring the bell of Neo-Prog freaks.

A "Romantic" portfolio of sound and creation ... this phrase might be fit for their musical view. The vocalist Hina cannot be felt so skillful nor so expressive but who cares? Her serious and sincere voice attitude for songs can be appreciated, and all of Romanzers at another venue (Bekkan in Japanese) play decent Neo-symphonic progressive rock upon this creation. Obvious Neues cannot be heard but highly recommended for every symphonic (authentic or Neo) progressive rock fan.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2017 at 13:05
^ Great post Keishiro! Thumbs Up

That saves me the job of making a thread for them in the New Suggestions part of the forum! Embarrassed LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hellogoodbye Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2017 at 16:22
Last night I dreamed that I was sleeping on a carpet of Japanese pressings. Sweet dream and sweet sound. 
Wink

Résultat de recherche dimages pour &quot;japanese pressing&quot;
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2017 at 22:58
Originally posted by yam yam yam yam wrote:

^ Great post Keishiro! Thumbs Up

That saves me the job of making a thread for them in the New Suggestions part of the forum! Embarrassed LOL
Thanks mate.
I've contacted with Ikko in fb and will dig ROMANZA out in near future.

And do hope Bekkan will get to be here. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2017 at 23:00
Originally posted by hellogoodbye hellogoodbye wrote:

Last night I dreamed that I was sleeping on a carpet of Japanese pressings. Sweet dream and sweet sound. 
Wink
Shocked

What a fantastic Davidream! Hope I have a rendezvous with it! Star

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 27 2017 at 11:08

Kari Band (a temporary band in English)


Hi, again sorry for my long hibernation but my progressive rock mate Alan (colorofmoney91) has let me know such a great project. KARI BAND are playing as a backing combo for Babymetal, a renowned Japanese female metal band. They’ve launched their debut ep upon April 26, 2017 finally (already been one of smash hits in Japan!).


Demo (2017) - KARI BAND


I see, that's the reason why the stage by Babymetal should be pretty cool and awesome. At first let me say thanks to Alan (a Babymetal fan in US) for notifying me of such a fantastic combo. Yes I know, I'm a Japanese and why not familiar with Babymetal, but to be honest I've not got interested in them at all, except in their crazy stage. KARI BAND, three session musicians with mad technique, are a backing outfit supporting Babymetal's entire artistic sense especially upon stage. Such an incredible sense has been launched via this ep released upon April 26, 2017 finally, I'm so glad really.


Actually knocked out in a complete manner. Let me shout first of all that another King Crimson have come here. Strictly based upon jazz itself, they play complex songs of cadence like a precision music / rhythm machine with sound diversity. "Jamrika" or so reminds me of Tipographica or Unbeltipo, kinda avantgarde jazz rock. On the contrary, "Djentleman" is in the same vein of slush art metal, flooded with deeply metallic, complicated riffs and swift, grievous guitar crying. Thrilling fights amongst all instruments can be heard everywhere, and we the audience cannot listen with enough breathing until the last "Snowflakes" that features clean smooth jazz rock elements along with their magnificent instrumental skills and critical motivation.


It's a pity the debut 26 minute ep is not a full-length album but an intriguing alliance by the intensive trio should create this not only short but also impressive stuff. Cannot help keeping an 'ear' upon them from now on.



Their Facebook page is; http://www.facebook.com/karibandofficial/



Thanks to Alan again, and thank you for reading this blog.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 27 2017 at 01:46
Yesterday I've attended gigs by Takatora Band / Fatern (Makofei) / Katan Hiviya / Djamra for Vi-Code 14th anniversary.


As for Djamra, please see here.
And let me mention here, about the other three combos.

TAKATORA BAND ... featuring Tsugaru Shamisen by Takatora KAWAMOTO, they play heavily metallic sounds. In 2010 they have released the debut creation "Taido (movement of fetus)" via an independent label Moon Child.

FATERN ... a theremin player, already mentioned in this blog. Her theremin sound texture was quite dreamy and took the audience into a flower garden. Heart

Katan HIVIYA ... a crazy technical / skilled guitarist (and singer), already mentioned in this blog, too. As well, his play was gigantically excellent, especially upon the song "Taiwa No Kanosei" or "Fake Fur". We could pay only for his stage really, let me say!

As a result, this anniversary was too fantastic for the audience to forget at all!


Edited by DamoXt7942 - November 27 2017 at 01:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2017 at 00:13

Hello, actually an idea has come to my mind suddenly, that I should post a review about a Japanese avantgarde pride BOREDOMS founded by Japanoise madman Eye YAMATSUKA (ex-Hanatarash) ... as a Japanese avantgarde mania, they cannot be forgotten forever.

Super Æ (1998) - BOREDOMS
Quote Cannot follow such an explosive avantgarde noises, freaky melodies, and kaleidoscopic development emitted out mainly by Eye YAMATSUKA. Not only we Japanese but also all of avantgarde rock fans should not forget their existence in late 20th century. Based upon Eye's electronic sense and violent artistic antithesis against monotonous, uninteresting art scene in those days (his Hanatarash days), they launch variation of auditory essence one after another. His creativity flooded with weird electronic noises or queers can easily remind me of sorta similarity to Krautrock ... especially danceable but sadistically repetitive heavy rock phrases mainly created with guitars, drums, percussion and quirky electronika behind them, in the third track 'Super Going' or the following 'Super Coming'.

We might mention such an act drenched in colourful musical (but also nonmusical, basically not touched in music world at all) cannot be flexibly heard (I guess it would make sense if you listen to the first 'Super You' full of nonsense electronic convolution or the second one 'Super Are' featuring ambient gentleness in the former part and cynical tribalism in the latter). On the other hand, there is a strict historical fact or background they were appreciated in 90s pop / rock scene (their material can be heard in a worldwide popular rock compilation Wow 2). Suggest they (including also Eye) would have looked straightly into 80-90s popular rock scene and adopt pop essence and shoot it out here and there, regardless of their innovative, intriguing artistic basis (such a positive attitude cannot be seen in Hanatarash days). In their creation are quite a little hilarious material with mischievous, unimaginable sound footprints, that could have been acceptable for every rock fan, methinks.

Mentioned again, their massive potential and gigantic existence cannot be forgotten eternally.
Thank you for reading this blog, and wish you a great new year!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2017 at 04:16
Oh and I'll enjoy this album from this yearend until the beginning of 2018, with drinking Portuguese white (green) wine Vinho Verde! Beer

Cascata - Samuel CADIMA aka Meltdowner
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 31 2017 at 10:51
Thanks for the reminder about Super AE. I found the album over the summer but haven't listened to it properly, mostly due to the immense volume of new releases I have been feasting on.
There is no act more pretentious and self-indulgent than labeling another's art as pretentious and self-indulgent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2018 at 01:51
Originally posted by Tapfret Tapfret wrote:

Thanks for the reminder about Super AE. I found the album over the summer but haven't listened to it properly, mostly due to the immense volume of new releases I have been feasting on.
Thanks Ian. They're kinda legend all over the world, especially in Japan, especially in Osaka. Big smile

Very glad to remind you of this fantastic one. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2018 at 01:52
Hello fellus!
Please let em recommend a young Japanese progressive metal act ALEVAS, releasing the debut album upon January 9, 2018.


Greed Of White Lily (2018) - ALEVAS
Quote One of promising Japanese melodic progressive metal combo leaning towards Dream Theater has come out to us. A Japanese outfit ALEVAS were founded as a melodically metallic rock quartet by SAKAKI (guitars), YUJI (bass), TOMO (drums), and KENGO (voices), all of whom have tremendously got inspired by Dream Theater. "Greed Of White Lily" has been launched as their debut creation upon January 9, 2018, that obviously has lyrical melodic sensitivity mixed with complicated polyrhythmic explosion. Actually they’ve been introduced to me by their musical friend Yuji MUTO (Next Order) who will join as a guest guitarist for their coming album, and their excerpt of this album completely clutched my heart. Let me say every metal fan would get immersed in their composition, production, playing technique, and especially strong intention for this creation.


The first shot "Ruined Castle" should be called as a credential. On the perfect basis by the rhythm section (Tomo and Yuji), Sakaki’s crying guitar play is quite comfortable and addictive (anyway Sakaki’s crazy learned jazz guitar technique in his adolescent days amazingly). Dramatic texture must absorb the audience in a dynamic manner. Th following track "Human Node”, featuring all of their artistic characteristics, reminds me like Dream Theater meets Opeth. Kengo’s colourful voices are perfectly crystallized upon this turf. Not only progressive lines but also pop elements can be heard all over the tune. The similar vein to acceptable power metal can be grabbed via ”Abstract Eternity" filled with clear voices, sharp guitar edges, and swift powerful drumming. Can hear Petrucci-like speed guitar phrases in the middle of "In The Vortex" where sensitive catchiness is never forgotten. Dreamy, streaming, floating movements e.g. in "Blue To Be Swallowed” should be enjoyed along their musical stability. "Naraka”, another masterpiece of theirs, has exaggeratedly mysterious touches and sorta metallic core seasoned with influence by lots of pioneers belonging to various progressive metal subgenres. We can feel of black. death, power metal arrays. Like "Human Node”, every single essence of ALEVAS we can keep in our brain. Until the last inorganic footprint in kinda tragic epilogue "Endless Promenade“ we cannot breathe enough.


A fantastic debut creation although their innovative originality cannot felt enough. Currently they are just working for the second full-length album in a studio. Cannot wait really.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 20 2018 at 07:57
Here's a wild question. Why doesn't Japanese prog or Asian prog get its own tagging system already? Maybe in the spirit of Krautrock we could call it Rice Rock or Sushi Rock (for Japan specifically!) 

Yeah, some bands like Ruins are clearly Zeul, Mr Sirius is symphonic Canterbury but some bands like Boredoms are just out there in their own little world of the Eastern Sun. 

Just an idea! Why should Europeans get all the good tags :P

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote siLLy puPPy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2018 at 22:05
Actually, the more i think about it..... J-PROG!!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DamoXt7942 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2018 at 16:31
^ Let me call them JaProgre (In Japan, progressive rock is generally called as PROGRE). LOL
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